Raheem Sterling: Gareth Southgate hails the resilience and hunger of England’s top scorer

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Raheem Sterling: Gareth Southgate hails the resilience and hunger of England’s top scorer


Gareth Southgate is happy that people continue to question Raheem Sterling as his ‘fighter’ continues to respond to his criticism with goals for England at Euro 2020.

The Manchester City forward scored his third goal of the tournament giving England the lead in their 2-0 round of 16 victory over Germany on Tuesday night.

Sterling had knocked out the winners against Croatia and the Czech Republic in the group stage, but despite having scored 15 goals in his last 20 international appearances, his place in Southgate’s squad has been called into question with the emergence of new talent. at his post.

But Southgate’s confidence in the 26-year-old continues to pay off and he praised Sterling after Germany’s victory.

“He’s a fighter,” Southgate said when asked about Sterling’s ability to handle criticism.

“He has incredible resilience and hunger. He has developed this real thirst for scoring over the past couple of years, even in games where the opportunities where the ball crossed the box earlier in the tournament, he has been in between positions.

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Gareth Southgate has started Sterling in all four games so far

“He finds himself in these areas and yes his dynamism is fantastic, we know the course he has had with England and I am so happy that he can deliver the performances he has.

“Delivering them to Wembley will have been really special for him and like you said the return of the goals is amazing.

“Absolutely amazing, really, but yeah please keep asking the questions because if we can’t motivate him everyone will definitely be able to!” “

While Sterling is enjoying a big spell with England, he struggled to score goals earlier in his international career – scoring just two in his first 45 games.

He has divided the opinion of English fans, particularly in a 27-game scoreless streak that also included the 2018 World Cup, but Southgate saw a change in Sterling after returning from the tournament to Russia.

“He was probably just one of the players to come back from the World Cup with a different feeling and I talked to him at length about that,” Southgate said.

“I think Sevilla (a 3-2 Nations League victory over Spain where Sterling scored twice) was a real take-off moment for him. You could almost see it.



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“He almost jumped into the second floor of the stadium if you watch his goal celebration that night.

“I really think it was an important moment for him and of course he had scored for his club but hadn’t been able to translate it.

“Now I think he feels happy in our environment, feels he can be himself, knows the respect we have for him and yes his performance in every game in this tournament he’s been a huge one. threat to every opponent. “

“Germany wins a perfect day for Kane”

As Sterling continued his strong streak at Euro 2020, England captain Harry Kane put an end to his duck in the tournament by adding the second against Germany.

Southgate’s side now travel to Rome to face Ukraine in the quarter-finals on Saturday and he believes Kane’s return to form can only be good for the nation – comparing his run to that of Alan Shearer, who spent two years scoreless in England before ending their fruitless run against Switzerland at Euro 96.

“I played with Alan at Euro 96 and [saw] the change in him once he scores that goal, ”Southgate added.



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“We know that with Harry and Raheem their scoring record with us has been huge and so important. We can’t expect Harry to be the one to deliver, so Raheem weighed in at a pivotal moment and looks electric, but if we can get Harry to score too, that’s great for us as a team. .

“There is a huge expectation and although sometimes from the outside it would seem like this is a glamorous position and that they are certainly well paid it comes with immense pressure and expectations and I think that it’s important as a manager to understand and empathize with it.

“Not only are there public expectations, but there is an inherent desire and motivation that center forwards have that if you win the game they don’t score and they get irritated.

“They can’t help it. This is the state of mind of the best players. So (the victory in Germany) will have been a perfect day for him.

“He wants the team to win more than anything else, but for the team to win and to score, no doubt that will put a big smile on his face. “

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